Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Day After The Day After Christmas

Just like the birds, that have been lining their nests with additional insulation; and the squirrels that have been stashing away nuts; I am feeling an almost instinctive urge to migrate to a Unity housing unit; for the winter and beyond.

To spread my wings and fly 1.25 miles to the north and land at the Sacred Heart Apartments (shown).

The past few nights have been inordinately uncomfortable outdoors; with rainfall and temperature drops dueling it out to see which can visit the most misery upon me...

The sand stuck to my guitar case, which I have to wait for to dry before I can brush it off (or I'll just rub it in) has increasingly gone against my grain and has become magnified as an affront to my dignity.

The occasional ant that will exit my backpack and nonchalantly stroll across the Starbucks floor has become a much larger annoyance than the size of an ant.

My nose has become extra sensitized to odors, like the one acquired after someone uses the same cover of the bushes that I sleep within to do their various "business"; and then I come along in the darkness of the early morning and lay in it.  The stuff I that I spare my readers from...

As getting a Unity apartment seems to be more imminent; all of the b.s. surrounding being homeless; seems to be taking this last opportunity to lash out at me.

The Meeting

Monday, at 10 AM, at the VA Center, I am scheduled to meet with Travers, my Unity caseworker; who now has, in his arsenal, paperwork documenting my status as a veteran.

Hopefully that will be enough to get me into one of the very modest apartments in the building which might once have been a Catholic School (imagine the ghosts haunting the place).

Another Shrink Rap?

Hopefully, my veteran status will be enough to get me in; and I won't have to have another "evaluation" done by the psychiatrist at the Rebuild Center; though that would give me a chance to update my folder with the previously undisclosed information that had slipped my mind the first time I spoke with him.

You know -about the night heron that keeps screeching in my head: "...kinda like 'WAAUUK!!,' doc..."

...and the 950 foot high Leslie Thompson who chases me around the French quarter all the time; whom everyone else swears they can't see (because they're just messing with my mind!).
"There you are, my little buddy!"

Just Let Me In!

Looking at the building, which seems to be the one that they are currently filling with veterans, it seems that they should be able to let me sign some paperwork and then hand me a key; as easy as renting a summer cottage on Cape Cod, right?

Not surprising to see only 2 cars in the lot...there may be a third one (otherwise the dark colored one would have parked closer to the entrance, as the white one did, right?).

As far as the neighborhood; it is not "too" bad.
Not quite as "far out" as Leslie's place...

The Unity of Greater New Orleans is slated to open The Sacred Heart Apartments, a mixed income housing complex, in Mid-City by the end of December.
Housed in an old nursing home on 3222 Canal Street, the apartments will serve veterans with disabilities, the formerly homeless and tenants with incomes at or less than 50 percent of the area median income level, organizers told Mid-City residents at a neighborhood meeting Monday.

Never Look A Gift House In The Mouth...

However... the neighborhood will now boast a building; containing 109 units with a high concentration of formerly homeless people; a lot of whom will most undoubtedly exhibit behaviors of the sort which "traditionally" lead to homelessness.

There will be those "too poor to rent," and probably some who are only trying to give the impression that they are too poor to rent -working under the table; skeezing, etc...

Then, of course, there will be drug dealers, offering the kinds of things which a lot of homeless spend their money on in lieu of rent....and those with the mentality of: "This is the kind of rat hole they're trying to stick me in (for free)? Oh, hell no...let the vandalism begin!!" -I've never totally understood that philosophy...

Checkpoint Charlie?

The saving grace may just be the veterans; whom have at least proven at one point in their lives that they can fall into line; follow orders, accomplish things, and have their left and right feet committed to memory...

I'm hoping that with a high concentration of them; a camaraderie will exist; maybe like an informal "watchdog committee," of crusty old veterans who still bristle when they hear a stick break outside their window; and reflexively draw their pistol and hit the deck. Those guys might be good to have around....

"Cover Me While I Throw My Grenade!!"

Or, I might find my door jimmied and my Snowball microphone gone; within a week of moving in..

In a building constructed in the 1920's (they weren't made to repel atomic bombs, yet) sound may penetrate the walls such that; I won't be able to play the guitar and sing, without fetching a knock on my door from the guy in number 88.

Walking from the Sacred Heart Apartments into the French Quarter will be solely a day trip; or a late night bus ride; as; some of the worst areas of NOLA (isn't THAT saying something?) lie in between, like snakes in the grass.




Alex said...

I totally forgot that an organization like unity might well have a facility like this, a bad behavior amplifier that serves to get the homeless off of the street but to also make them cash cows for the crime industry, making sure they can share and share alike in learning new crime and new addictions.

Can you convince unity to help you rent a room with some normal people, who work jobs and do normal things? Or help you and Karrie rent a small place, a shotgun house mate, so you two can set up housekeeping together?

Daniel McKenna said...

Couples ARE allowed; but that would have to be discussed in advance; because, I think they have efficiencies; one and two bedroom units;
They need to fill a little more than half of the units with vets; and they are a little "better," the same way that the VA is a better than Rebuild Center...a lot of those Rebuild regulars wouldn't make it through their first day of boot camp;
the vets have to have a disability; and they (UNITY) seem to be going the "alcohol dependency" route with me; if I was going to get hooked on pain pills, heroin or meth, I could have done it already without having to leave the Lilly spot;
My prime concern is definitely having my stuff stolen; because when there are pain pill addicts around; well...

Alex said...

Oh I know, Santa Cruz has lots of pill addicts and theyll stab each other over the smallest things. The kind of pills they're into is opioids, vicodin and so on, someone explained to me, they can grind up one pill and get six injections out of it, yep its all about her I on and heroine like substances in Santa Cruz. Stupid fucking tablet I meant heroin.

So stuff gets stolen a lot.

Daniel McKenna said...

If you're not going to even feel the blade slicing you; and a small thing like that won't even rouse you out of your heroin bliss one iota; then why not try to steal someone else' shit?
No pain; big gain.

Daniel McKenna said...
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